Saturday, August 31, 2013

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: August 2013

I know you've probably noticed my absence from blogging as of late. I haven't been reading much and I've been feeling uninspired to write well-covered reviews so... that's where I've been in my minuscule corner of the internet. But my friend Trina (go friend her on Goodreads; she writes wonderful reviews for YA books and is just plain lovely!) gave me the idea to do a post on the books I've read this month and I loved the idea! Click on the titles to read my reviews (or in some cases, blob of thoughts) and my ratings for each book are out of 5 stars! 

Books I read in August:
  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte...............................................................................(Rating: 1.5/5.0)
  2. Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4) by Richelle Mead.....................................(Rating: 4.5/5.0)
  3. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson...........................................................(Rating: 4.5/5.0)
  4. Becoming More by Bayli Lane................................................................................(Rating: 3.5/5.0)
  5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley......................................................................(Rating: 2.5/5.0)
  6. A Tale of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #2) by Rachel Harris....(Rating: 4.0/5.0)
  7. Tight Knit by Allie Brennan....................................................................................(Rating: 1.0/5.0)
  8. East of Eden by John Steinbeck..............................................................................(Rating: 4.0/5.0)

Favorite Book of the Month:
Snippet from my review: "...Tears streaming down my face and sobs controlling my breathing on and off for the last 50 pages...Beautiful and funny moments that left me smiling and giggling."

Please let me know what you think of this new segment I'm thinking of doing! I'm in dire need of suggestions and inspiration for my blog! Have any better ideas for how I can make/format these? Also, leave a comment telling me what books you've read this month. :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

REVIEW: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

About the book: 

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains. 

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve. As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. 

Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

Pages: 468
Published by: Simon & Schuster (May 8th, 2012)
Genre: YA contemporary + romance

My rating for Second Chance Summer:

My initial reaction at 4AM:

I don't think I've cried so much while reading since...since The Fault in Our Stars. I wouldn't say Second Chance Summer is better than TFiOS because apart from the terminal illness factor, it's quite different, but the sad parts hit me just as hard in here as they did in TFiOS. Tears streaming down my face and sobs controlling my breathing on and off for the last 50 pages...just threw away about 10 snot filled tissues. Yup. But there were also many beautiful and funny moments that had me smiling for chapters long and giggling. Wonderful character development and life lessons introduced as the story rolled on.

Second Chance Summer is a hybrid of The Fault in Our Stars and My Life Next Door.

So since you've gathered (hopefully) that I love this book, I'm going to get the cons of the book out of the way first and then end with my love and love and more love for this book.

Taylor Edwards, the M.C. wasn't the most well-developed character. Her personality was sort of bland, which is okay, but she lacked, well, character! She didn't have hobbies or...habits that make people distinct individuals. 

The other thing I didn't like was that the other conflicts, more minor conflicts, were solved reeeally easily. For example, boredom was an issue with Taylor and her siblings and those were solved quickly and without much fuss. One second they were bored and the next they had a job, new friend, etc. Also, the book begins with this huge stress of Taylor's dread of returning to the summer house because of the horrible, awful, entirely unforgivable thing she did when she was twelve. (AKA The last time she was at the summer house.) I thought Taylor's past was going to stir up something big and when her "terrible awful thing" (anyone know that reference? ;) ) was revealed, I was like that, "That was it? That's all that happened?!?" I see how the event would have put a lot of guilt on her twelve year old shoulders and how the shame could have resurfaced if she ever re-met the people she hurt, but as she grew older, I would have expected her to think of it as a simple mistake she needed to learn from.

Nowwww for the gushing! 

I love this book! I enjoyed the casual pace of the novel and some of the most simple scenes did it all. I liked the supporting characters, especially Henry. He's sweet and loves nature. He's just perfectly nice and I like him. Taylor's major flaw is one that she spends the whole novel defying. Her progress when compared from the beginning to end is one I always look for in the my M.C.s. So lovely.

And then Taylor and her dad. Together, these two made the story what it was for me. The moments they shared were so special, so heartfelt... gosh the emotions they evoked within me! I loved seeing them grow closer, their relationship grow strong. It was beautiful and magical and I felt it all. <3 

And then for the saddness... Like The Fault in Our Stars, I KNEW to expect something horribly sad and tragic, but when those moments hit...oh my gosh, they were like waves, one scene after the next, salty tears oozing down my face with each wave. They hit me so hard, every one of them. The feelings I felt shine through the pages during one particular scene Taylor and her dad shared...just wow. Tears. *clutches heart.*
P.S. I had a similar experience with my grandpa that Taylor had with her dad, so as I was reading this, my own similar memories resurfaced and I think that added to how emotional this book made me, HOWEVER if you put yourself in your characters' shoes like I do for every book I read, you will not feel any less connected than I did.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Running in Place by L.B. Simmons

Title: Running in Place
Author: L.B. Simmons
Series: Mending Hearts, Book 2
Series Reading Order: 
Genre: NA/adult contemporary romance
Expected Release Date: Late October 2013

Tatum O’Connell:
Some call me a party girl. People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world. They see what I want them to see. But no one knows me - really knows me. Not even Noah Reese. Mr. Perfect is always watching me, most likely judging every single imperfect thing I do. But, if Noah wants to keep an eye on me, that’s just fine. I definitely don’t mind. I just hope he doesn’t have any plans to save me from my new-found life of self-destruction because in order to save me, he will have to see me…
And I’m never going to let that happen.

Noah Reese:
Perfect. That’s me. That’s the only acceptable way to be, according to my father. Perfect grades. Perfect manners. Perfect athlete. Perfect SAT scores. Perfect college. And recently, I was accepted into the perfect med school. My future has already been mapped out for me and there’s nothing that can change that. Not even Tatum O’Connell. That girl is out of control, yet for some reason, I can’t seem to keep my distance from her. I watch her closely, hoping that one day she’ll let me in, but watching her lead her life down the dangerous path she’s on right now isn’t easy…
I have a feeling I’m about to find myself swept away by the hurricane that is Tatum O’Connell.

“Two fleeting souls,
Unknowingly tethered.
Too slowly drawn,
Impatient fate calls.
The jolting collide intertwines their lives
And splinters their walls.”
“Catalyst” – Noah Reese


L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science. She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets. 



Teaser Time!

Teaser 1:

“Seriously, why are you even with him, Tatum? You never seem happy when you are.”

Well, that sure turned her smile upside down. It also caused her to glare back at me.

“Like you have room to talk, Noah. Why are you with Piper? You sure as hell never look happy when you’re with her, either. You usually look irritated, actually.”


“Touché. You’re right,” I shrug as I lean back against my chair, “We kind of have an agreement. So, it is what it is. But, it’s nice to know you’ve been watching.” I give her a quick wink.

She narrows her eyes as she sits back in her seat and crosses her arms over her chest. “Well, you might want to explain that to her, because I’m pretty sure she thinks otherwise. Like, she probably has the church booked and wedding magazines all over her apartment.”

It seems that even the mention of marriage also has an adverse effect on my cardiac system. Or maybe it’s just any reference to Piper?

We are getting way off track here, so I scoot my seat underneath the table, getting closer to Tatum and shift toward her, crooking my finger for her to lean in as well. After a slight hesitation, surprisingly she does. I shield the side of my mouth with the back of my hand and lower my voice to a whisper. “Let’s drop the Piper topic for a second, it’s giving me heartburn, and concentrate on you for a second.” Her hardened mask breaks and she laughs even though I couldn’t be more serious.

“I’m going to give you a loser lesson. Let’s call it, ‘Loser 101: Introduction to All Things Loser.’” Another small smile breaks across her lips and I’m once again momentarily distracted by her mouth.

Glancing back up, I look into her eyes and grin. “Okay, so number one. His name isn’t really Cash, you know this right? His name is Herman. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if he’s not man enough to even stand behind the name his mother gave him, well?”

Tatum’s eyes widen and she covers her mouth. “How did you know that?” she whispers back from behind her fingers. She looks like an adorable little girl with her huge blue eyes gaping back at me. It’s captivating. I burn the image into my brain before letting her in on my secret.

“I’m a bartender. I’ve seen his I.D. In fact, I make him show it to me every time he comes into the bar because it makes me laugh.”

She drops her hand, huge smile displayed. “You’re evil.”

“Yes, yes I am.” I hold up my pointer finger. “That’s number one. Number two…” I draw out, “He’s what? Twenty-four? You know what I see every time he hands me that I.D. other than his name and age? His goddamn huge-ass senior ring … from high school. He really needs to learn to let go of what were probably the best years of his life and just move on. So, if they still feel that their high school years are relevant – loser. Lesson number two.”

I count it on my fingers as I lean in even closer and whisper my final lesson in her ear. “The third one is the most important, so listen closely.” I take a discreet whiff of her hair before continuing. “You may not believe this but it’s the truth. You deserve to be treasured. You should be with someone who respects you, who makes you a better person, and most of all who makes you happy. He, however, treats you poorly. I see it every single time I’m around the two of you, and I have to say it takes a lot of restraint on my part not to beat the shit out of him when I see him do it.” I lean away from her and hold up three fingers in front of her shocked-as-shit facial expression. “So, they don’t respect you and treat you how you should be treated – loser. Lesson three.”

I clear my face of its smartass smirk so she understands that I’m completely serious. “Never settle for less than you’re worth. You don’t give yourself enough credit. Hopefully, one day, you’ll see what everyone else sees.”

She graciously accepts my compliment with a half-smile and after sliding herself back into her chair, she studies me intently.

“Interesting lesson there, Noah. Thank you for the wise words. But, as I clearly displayed last night, I have issues. Not everyone would take me back after what I did last night. But he did. Because, he loves me. We all have our faults, not everyone can be perfect, like you. I hope you know that’s not meant to be an insult, so please don’t take it that way. I just mean that some of us are flawed and have to deal with what we’re given.” She breaks from my eyes to watch the waitress pick up the empty plates from our table. Once they’re cleared, she begins again, still gazing off in the distance.

“Broken hopes and expectations can leave very, very broken people. So, after a while, you learn not to aim so high, because when people fail you, you land hard and there’s only so many times a person can be shattered before they’re beyond repair.”

She brings her eyes back to mine. “What you’re so quick to label as settling, I simply call survival,” she finishes with a defeated shrug of her shoulders.

After her statement, she casts her glance away from mine to smile at the person passing by. Although as usual, it’s not genuine. It’s the same one she plasters on her face to appease everyone around her.

What the hell happened to her?

The waitress conveniently drops the check off at our table, providing Tatum the perfect way out of this conversation and therefore any further interrogation. She stands and pushes the chair out from underneath her with the backs of her knees.
“Ready?” she asks, purse already in hand and stepping towards the direction of the register.

Well, I guess that’s all I’m getting from her for now. I know it’s not much, but I’ll take it.

It’s not like I can actually concentrate on asking her any more questions, because there’s one gigantic conclusion I’ve just drawn and it’s currently blocking any other thoughts from entering my mind.

A person who judges someone without really knowing them, without walking in their shoes, or without at least attempting to understand what they’ve gone through or experienced during their lifetime – loser.

Lesson number four.

Teaser 2:

Still laughing and not paying attention, I round the corner, only to run straight into a completely different kind of trouble. A brown-headed, blue-eyed, whirlwind kind of trouble. A trouble that looks unbelievably hot in a tight-ass, short black dress. A trouble wearing the highest black heels I’ve ever seen, heels that make her legs look unbelievable and should be outlawed judging by the bulge forming inside my dark Diesels. Damn. She’s also a trouble that I’ve formed a decent friendship with over the last few weeks, so any mental images I have of her doing certain things to me wearing those heels have got to go.

“Hey!” she says laughing as she flips her hair off her shoulders. My eyes immediately land on her pouty lips, the clear shine reflecting off of them as she smiles. “What are you doing here?”

I clear my throat and tear my gaze from her mouth. “Getting my check, you?”

She looks me up and down as she nods her head. “Me too,” she says clearing her own throat. “Where are you going, looking all spiffy?”

I chuckle because only she would say spiffy. “I’m taking Piper to that new club, Parallel. Where are you going looking all spiffy?”

She claps her hands together excitedly before taking my hand. “We’re going there too! Yay!”

I’m still surprised every time she touches me. It’s such a drastic change from the first day at the duplexes. As I think about the last month or so - all the times that we laughed together at something ridiculous that she said, or the fact that she insists on bumping hips with me every single time a song comes on the radio that she likes while singing at the top of her lungs, even the times she lightly brushes her hand across my arm while she’s speaking – there’s a level of comfort and ease about our friendship. Reason five hundred why I need to curb my inappropriate thoughts about this one.
I smile to myself as she tugs me harder. “Where are you taking me?”

“To the employee bathroom!”

Well, that did absolutely nothing to fend off dirty thoughts.


She giggles. Obviously, she’s already started drinking. Great. Well, at least we’ll be at the same place so I can make sure Dickhead the Douchebag takes care of her.

“Because, I’m gonna fix your hair. It looks too…perfect. It needs to be messy – sexy, like you.” She stops dead in her tracks.

“Um…I mean, as sexy as you look now.” She exhales, frustrated. “Sexily dressed, that’s what I mean.” She bites her bottom lip nervously as she mentally tries to hook her words and reel them back in. I just laugh because she looks so damn cute.

“So, you think I’m sexy?”

Saying nothing else, she rolls her eyes and pulls me in the direction of the bathroom. Once we arrive, she flips on the light and points at the toilet for me to take a seat. Turning on the faucet, she sets her purse on the counter and pulls out a travel size hairspray. After digging around for a little while longer, she turns towards me.

“Well, I guess this will have to do.” She tilts her head to the left and then scrunches her mouth to the same side, deep in thought. Nodding to herself, she leans over and wets her fingers in the sink before stepping in between my legs.

She breathes in deeply before placing her fingers in my hair. Slowly, she distributes the water throughout, often leaning back to the faucet to get more. Her cool hands work from the sides of my head toward the top, where her fingers interlace to form a spiky section down the center. Then she bends at the waist, placing her face so close to mine, her breaths hit my mouth. I know I can’t have her, but damn if I don’t want to take some piece of her with me. So greedily, I take in her air with every breath she releases. Her eyes still focused on my hair, I watch her mouth. Still breathing with her, I lick my lips, the movement distracting her so that she brings her blue eyes to mine. In silence, we stare, only the shared breaths between us are heard.

Taking her hand out of my hair, she places it on the side of my face and gently strokes my cheek with her thumb as we hold each other’s eyes. Before long, I watch a soft saddened half-smile appear on her lips. “Much better,” she says with one last soothing run of her thumb before she backs away. Reaching for the hair spray, she tweaks the top of my hair, pulling random pieces in different directions before spraying them. I fight the urge to put my hands around her waist and pull her into me. To hold her. To have her.

Instead, I sit with my hands on my knees, wanting what I can’t have.

After a couple of more sprays, she steps back. “All done. You’re good to go. To the bar. With Piper,” she says, the pitch of her voice getting higher with each incomplete sentence spoken. There’s no mistaking the heartache radiating between the both of us.
It’s so thick I could slice it with a knife.

Monday, August 26, 2013

REVIEW: A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris

Official Synopsis: 

Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea. 

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility. With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

Pages: 320
Published by: Entangled Teen (August 6th, 2013)
Genre: YA romance

My rating for A Tale of Two Centuries:
This story was so cute! I loved it! Super sweet and funny! I loved Alessandra and loved seeing 21st century America from her 16th century Italian eyes and upbringing. I also love a character who changes, becomes a stronger and more developed person, so that was wonderful to see. The situations she had to face, the different words she had to learn made for some giggle-inducing scenes.

A few things that made me drop a star off of this seemingly, perfectly sweet book:

I'm not sure if I was overlooking things or if the descriptions were messing with my head, but there were times when I thought so much time had past and it turned out to be more or less time than I had thought. Also, Alessandra had only been in America for about a week before she appeared comfortable with 21 century customs. (SPOILERS) I found it particularly odd that she told her cousin that she would not wear sleeves that exposed her elbows, and then just a few days later she gained the confidence to wear a bikini in front of a boy. It was really anxious with the idea at first, and it was a cute scene that I actually really liked, but even I'm nervous to wear a bikini in the presence of a guy and Alessandra got over her nerves (and 16th century customs) rather quickly...Concerning Austin, I liked him, but he was a bit fluffy to me. And I thought his feelings developed reeeeally fast and deeply for Alessandra. It didn't seem the most natural to me.

Apart from those few things, I really enjoyed this story and the writing itself. It was a very cute and humorous read!

Recommended for readers who like: cute, YA romances.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: City of Bones (by Cassandra Clare)

Disclaimer: These are MY thoughts on the movie. I'm mentioning the things I noticed as I watched the movie, the things I personally liked or was disappointed with. You may wholly disagree with me or think I didn't mention half the things you noticed. 

There is only one major spoiler in my review and I give a fair warning beforehand, but I still advise everyone to read my review after you've seen the movie, just so I don't influence your opinions or put minor reveals in your mind before you've even seen the film for yourself. If you haven't seen the movie AND haven't read the book, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, but you are reading this, then read this movie review at your own risk because I WILL be discussing plot points and reveals that readers already know about from the book.


Overall impression:
Overall, I was extremely pleased with the movie! I loved the first half of the movie; I didn't love the second half of the movie as much but I still really liked it. I was quite satisfied with the acting throughout the movie, Lily Collins (Clary) was my favorite. The set design, make-up & costume design, the humor (with Simon & Jace!), most of the special effects... those were all done extremely well! The only thing that slightly dampened the visuals was that most of the scenes were fast-paced. That made for a rushed movie and I think some of the lines and characters' feelings weren't able to be conveyed as well because of it.

On the characters:
I wasn't entirely impressed with the casting choices before I went into the movie, but I had faith. After seeing the film, I have to say I thought the acting overall was wonderful! I loved Lily Collins as Clary! I think she embodied Clary really well and was able to portray the essence of her character. The only thing I wished they had done differently regarding Lily was redye her hair (and dye her eyebrows!) when it faded a lot. At some points in the film, her hair is a strong red and in others it's more of a tinted red. I loved that Jocelyn and Clary's hair was styled the same way and I liked Jocelyn's Idris accent. For Jace (Jaime Campbell Bower), the contouring they did on his cheek and jaw bones (I noticed because they were more defined than in the interviews he is in) made him a particularly intriguing character to look at! Jaime dished out snark and sarcasm beautifully! Simon was awesome. There were no geeky references which I was sort of disappointed by, but he gave off the geeky, fun-loving vibe that I feel when I read Simon!

I thought the actors did their jobs well, but I did find some aspects of the characters to be lacking and my overall conclusion for this is not on the fault of the characters but the producers/just the way the movie was made. I thought the scenes were rushed and because of that, I think it was harder for the actors to convey certain things. Or maybe they did but the scenes were cut from the movie. Here are some examples that are sort of SPOILER-like so read with caution:

1.) I wasn't as convinced of Clary and Jace's attraction/love as I was in the book. In the book, we get to hear Clary's thoughts. Obviously we don't get to hear thoughts in the film, and without them, I don't think the actors conveyed their feelings enough and when they did, it felt forced. I just don't think there was enough down time to showcase their feelings for each other. By the end up the movie, their mixed feelings seemed genuine, but that was literally the very last scene.

2.) Simon's dislike/irritation for Jace didn't come across strongly. When he tells Clary "I hate the guy!" I thought, "You do? Since when?"

3.) I think they purposefully made Magnus a less complex person because that would have taken more time to convey. He wasn't as mysterious or dramatic in personality/the way he spoke. That was disappointing. I think they did the same thing with Valentine too. Valentine wasn't charming enough. There was no mask for his true intentions. He truly came across as demonic and psycho and quite scary really. There was nothing about him that, if I were Jace, would have made me go soft with the idea of my father still being alive or anything that would have fooled me into being a follower of him.

4.) Isabelle wasn't as dimensional as I would have hoped, but I hope we get to see more of her character and her relationship with Clary in the following movies.

Differences from the novel: (read with caution. No major spoilers, but maybe some small ones.)
I know when a book is adapted to film, events need to be altered/embellished/deleted, but I'm always nervous going into the movie because I never know how much change to expect. For the first half of the movie, the scenes were either 1) spot on with the book, 2) slightly changed in details, or 3) the order of the events were flip-flopped. I thought the changes were necessary for a good-paced, flowing fantasy film and I loved them all! While I was watching the movie in the theater, I was actually thinking, "I loved how they changed that scene. That makes the (movie) story line so much better." So the first half of the film gets an "A" rating from me!

The last half of the movie was crazy. There was SO much action. Double the action that actually happened in the book. Or maybe it just seemed like a lot more action because they cut out all the calm, slower paced scenes from the novel, hmm...Anyway, the fight scenes were awesome as far as choreography goes, but there were so many fight scenes and fast scenes in general that I felt like I was watching a movie in fast forward. Everyone was just always going somewhere, always running, always killing something. I personally think it was a bit overloaded at times. After Valentine first appeared in the movie (same time as the book), the plot took a dramatic turn. The main concept of the book stayed, but everything about those parts were changed in some way--whether it was a location change, a detail in the plot, or more fighting.

I was understanding with most of the changes in the movie, but one in particular I really didn't like and I think it's going to change how the second movie will be...

Okay, if you haven't seen the movie yet, stop NOW because



Seriously, there is a big SPOILER beyond this point.

...for some reason the producers made it so Clary ended up with the Cup and Valentine supposedly got lost in the portal. I know they won't have a problem bringing Valentine back via a loophole in the portal in the second movie, but why does Clary have the Cup? The only thing I can think of is that they want to keep the second movie as fast paced as the first one and they want Valentine to chase the gang & the Cup, instead of the Shadowhunters searching for Valentine and trying to bring him down.

That's about it then for my first movie review! I know, it's long, I can never write anything short. :P I would LOVE to know your opinions on the movie, what you thought of my review, etc so leave a comment below telling me your thoughts and I'll reply back!

With love,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

REVIEW: Becoming More by Bayli Lane

Official Synopsis:

At first it was all freedom, fun, and games for Lilly Fairfield. Being a freshman in college was supposed to create some of the best memories of her life, especially with her best friend, Lauren, and longtime boyfriend, Sander, by her side.

But the excitement begins to slip away when the people closest to her start to change. They begin moving in a direction Lilly doesn’t want to go, forcing Lilly to be faced with a decision. Should she fight for her relationships with both Sander and Lauren or move on to something different? Something unknown. Someone like…

Colton Davenport. Colton isn’t Lilly’s typical type. He's shockingly sexy with his colorful tattoos, shiny silver lip ring, and ear gauges. His smile alone leaves her breathless. Then again, she hasn’t had a specific type other than Sander. When she meets Colton she feels an automatic attraction that stuns her into utter stillness. She can’t look away, doesn’t want to look away.

Lilly must decide between a life with Sander, a life she always thought she wanted, and an unknown path with Colton.

Will Lilly make the right choices for her future, Becoming More?

**This book is a New Adult Romance - intended for a mature audience.**

Pages: 261 (Kindle Edition)
Published by: Bayli Lane (August 12th, 2013)
Genre: NA contemporary romance

My rating for Becoming More:


This is a biased-free and spoiler-free review. These thoughts are my own and after reading them, you might share the same thoughts or 100% disagree with me. I have not been paid or compensated in any way to write this review.

Also, if you are someone who does not like to read books with the following content, this book is not for you: sex, drugs, alcohol, language.


I really liked the characters in Becoming More. Despite what a b**** Lauren turned out to be, I really liked her character because in the beginning she started off as the outgoing friend, but she was a lot more dimensional than most outgoing BFF side characters I read. I loved Clarissa and Colton; they're such good friends for Lilly! I would love to see Clarissa have her own story where she finds love. :)

Lilly was annoying at some later points in the book, but I still thought her actions were realistic and "reasonable" despite how irrational her thought-process was. A huge theme of the novel is denial and trying to save what you have always known: in a relationship and in life. I've seen reviews that say Lilly was stupid and naive, but when I put myself in her shoes, really thought about how I would handle her situations as the book progressed, I too would think of excuses that would explain the current events. Lilly wasn't making excuses merely to make excuses for the ones she loved; she just didn't want to make a rash decision when it came to her relationships. Relationships are fragile things and I know I would be hesitant to write off my boyfriend and best friend within a matter of days based off of some of the choices they made. It's a hard thing to decide how much you can help your friend before saying "enough is enough." For most of the book, Lilly in her heart knew what her decision was, but I think she was wrapped up in the routine of things so by the time she finally admitted to herself that enough was enough, it was too late.

There wasn't a hardcore explanation for why Sander and Lauren changed so drastically, but what I gathered was that the possibilities of college life and the thought of being able to do whatever they wanted influenced them to the point where they went over the edge. I know a lot of the aspects of this story were instances that happened to Bayli Lane's friends so if the characters of Sander and Lauren were inspired by the stories, I can only wonder what other factors were involved in their change of behavior. There were some really amazing scenes too. The one I refer to as the cherry scene for example:

"Okay, I lied... This is my way of asking you to come to my band's gig tomorrow. Please. Please with a cherry on top?"

I liked the pace of the story and how we got to see Lilly try to solve her struggles throughout the course of the novel. All relationship issues take time to solve, and new relationships take time to bud and blossom, so I was really pleased to see things progress in increments!

"Our love shines like the brightest stars in the sky."

There was a lot of action description in this book. I personally do not like it when books describe a character's every movement (made up example: I hear a knock come from the door. I walk to the door. I open the door and there stands Sander.) so that wasn't something I enjoyed about the book. I know Bayli and her editor were on a time crunch to wrap up editing, but I think a third or fourth pair of eyes would have really helped catch all the errors I ended up catching throughout the book. I really like Bayli's stories, but for her next book, I would suggest having a few beta readers to catch and tie up any faults. :)
"The idea of it becoming more has my heart beating and my palms sweating even though the idea shouldn't even exist as a possibility to me."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

COVER REVEAL: GREED by Fisher Amelie + VAIN Cover Redo

I am absolutely THRILLED to be presenting you with the cover reveal for Fisher Amelie's upcoming release, Greed! Greed is the second book in the Seven Deadly Series so without further ado:
Title: Greed (Seven Deadly Series, #2)
Author: Fisher Amelie
Genre: mature YA/NA contemporary
Expected Release Date: Fall 2013 (YAY!!!!)


Gather ‘round, love, because I want you. I want what you have, I want what you don’t have, I want more of what I already have. I want. But if you so much as ask for something in return, go ahead and walk away. Know if you want to play in my world, it’s every man for themselves and the weak become mine. Leeches will be obliterated because I make it my job to destroy them. I protect what’s mine and I take what’s yours...because that’s what I do. I want.

My story will not endear me to you and, frankly, I could care less if it does because I’m in this for the money and nothing else. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a corrupt, money hungry, immoral asshole from Los Angeles. I’m every man’s worst nightmare and every girl’s fantasy.

I’m Spencer Blackwell...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most coveted guy to the guy no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

~~Add Greed to: GOODREADS~~

Oh, but wait! There's more! The first book in the Seven Deadly Series, Vain, has been recovered and... it's right here!!!

ABOUT VAIN (Seven Deadly Series, #1):

If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah...then you’re gonna’ hate my story.

Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.

I’m Sophie Price...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.


And just to make you fangirl some more, here's a little sneak peek of what to expect from the Seven Deadly Series:

About Fisher Amelie (the incredible mind behind this series!):

Fisher Amelie is the author of The Leaving Series, Callum & Harper and Thomas & January. She began her writing career as a copywriter for an internet marketing company wherein one of their client's said, 'Hey! You're funny. You should write books'. Which in turn she said, 'Hey, get out of here! This is the lady's restroom.' While washing her hands and the embarrassment from her face, she thought they may have had a valid point. So, she took the thousands of hours of writing stories growing up, tucked them into her pocket and began writing and writing and writing.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

~Official Synopsis~ 

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren't the most popular girls in school, they aren't too worried. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they're missing out on the full high school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge—and they will totally rock it. 

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she'll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now. These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .

Pages: 368
Published by: Balzer + Bray (June 26th, 2012)
Genre: YA contemporary/chick lit

My rating for Smart Girls Get What They Want:
This was a delightful, light-hearted story that had quirk and cuteness written all over it! It took me a little bit to get past the introductory chapters and explanations, but once I did, I really enjoyed the story.

What I liked:

-The cuteness: There were a lot of cute, sweet, giggle-inducing moments with the love interests and just some of Gigi's inner worries made me laugh because they're silly worries I sometimes have. Refreshing to read.

-The dialogue: The dialogue between the friends and classmates was very believable in that silly, teasing way that friends are with each other. They seemed very natural to me, and when Gigi talked to the love interests, she was quite witty sometimes and I liked that.

-Personalities: All sorts of personalities were showcased in the story and although some were irritating or even unlikable love interests, it was real. I liked the love interests for this reason too; there wasn't the typical bad boy or cute nerd in here, but a mix of a bunch of traits for each boy.

What I didn't like:

-Disappointing title: What originally made me pick this book up was the title and how awesome of a concept I thought it was. I'm a smart girl myself (lol) and sometimes I feel like high school boys don't go for the smart girls so reading about a smart girl having a little high school romance was appealing to me. However, the story didn't conclude as meaningful as I would have liked it to. Gigi and her friends do get what they want in the end, but I felt like for a lot of the book, they didn't know what they wanted; which changing your mind is not a bad thing to do, but I thought the title was going to have some big significance to it and it didn't.

-Graveyard and drama scenes: In the beginning of the story it was stressed that Gigi and her BFFs were incredibly tight knit so there were these graveyard and drama audition/practice scenes that were used to point out how they had silly traditions or had each others' backs, etc. However, the scenes were boring to me and I thought they took away from the overall plot.

-Predictability: The love interests both turned out to be different than I initially thought they would be like, which I say deserves a plus, but when I saw the turnarounds in the guys, it was quite straight forward how the romance and the rest of the story was going to play out. Nothing wowed me as the story came to a close.
Recommended to readers who like: cute, quirky characters and romances, lighter stories, contemporary juvenile YA.

Sexual content: mild, very safe YA.